Sunday, November 19, 2023

Fall catch-all

I love fall recipes especially all things with butternut squash! I recently made a spicy butternut squash pasta recipe from the NY Times that was so good I made it twice in one week. As the weather changes we are always look for heartier dishes to warm us up. I'm in the middle of planning our upcoming Thursday meal which I now like to call our Un-Thanksgiving or our Grateful Day.  Growing up my family and Greg's family both celebrated the holiday with all the traditional fare and I used to help my mom prepare a turkey and all the sides but then we just stopped.  For many years I prepared other dishes we liked instead such as vegetable lasagna or food from India. The last few years I've made vegan Wild Rice Soup; that and some fresh hot bread from the oven makes a perfect meal. This year the only thing I have my heart set on is skin-on mashed potatoes with mushroom gravy. Otherwise I'm still searching for ideas. Tristan has two vegan pies, apple dutch and pecan, on order from New Pioneer Coop in Cedar Rapids.  

In between cooking I've read: 

Dry by Neal Shusterman because it is on a banned book list and I was curious. My first Shusterman book and I will read more.  (4 stars)

The Rachel Incident by Carolyn O'Donoghue because I heard it reviewed on a podcast. (4 stars)

We are called to Rise by Laura McBride because it showed up in my free library. (3 stars)

Fourth Wing  by Rebecca Yarros because two librarian friends highly recommended it and it was getting a LOT of attention.  I liked it and am happily waiting to read Iron Flame.  You should probably love high fantasy to enjoy this. (5 stars)

Fellowship Point by Alice Elliott Dark because it's our book club choice for November and I am enjoying it but I'm only half way through the 579 pages. (probably 4 stars)

There are a lot of good series to tuck into for fall: 

Everything Now on Netflix - Japhy and I discovered this and loved it. It's about a young girl's struggles with anorexia and a lot of high school drama but it's very real in it's depiction plus it takes place in London. 

All the Light We Cannot See limited series on NF- I loved the book and was looking forward to this. We have one more episode to watch. Mark Ruffalo is amazing as is the young daughter and the young German radio genius. The Nazis are all sufficiently creepy as hell.

Lessons in Chemistry on Apple TV - I loved the book and the series has not disappointed at all. It veers from the book but it is captivating. Brie Larson plays the great Elizabether Zott with zest. 

I've also made a habit of going to yoga a few times a week at Cota Studios and love practicing in person with other people after years of doing yoga alone with Adrienne in my upstairs studio.  Sam is a relaxed and knowledgeable instructor who brings calm and joy into the practice.  I really appreciate the gift of this studio in our community. 

Happy holiday however you celebrate. Do remember the real facts of this holiday in that those First People who came to the table in peace were later tricked through false treaties, tortured, and killed for who they were. Remember all that is going on in our world from sea to shining sea and that while we do have much to be grateful for we must think about how we can help and be empathetic and aware. 

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